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Former student is studying abroad

DCHS Journalism

Isabel Grafel

September 22, 2017

Most Kansas State University sophomores packed up their bags and headed back to Manhattan this fall, but sophomore student Kade Grafel packed up his bags and headed to a different location--Madrid, Spain.


Kade chose Charles III University of Madrid because of the university exchange program with K-State. “I wanted to improve my Spanish and liked Europe more than South America, so that’s why I chose this university,” he said. He said he also wanted to experience a new culture and learn about the world.


“I love the city. I think it’s really great,” said Kade. The dense population and large buildings make Madrid very different from Oberlin. “The amazing public transportation system is my favorite part of the city.”


Kade said the process to become an exchange student wasn’t hard; there were just a lot of steps. First, he had to choose classes offered at Charles III University of Madrid and get them pre-approved by the department heads at K-State and then get all of the classes approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences.


Then he had to apply to the university. “It was really easy. All I had to do was fill out a form, “ he said. He also had to do things at Kansas State to make sure he was ready. “I went to an orientation, had to take a test, and was also able to talk with someone that had attended this university,” he said.


“The most difficult part was applying for my visa,” said Kade. He had to make an appointment at the Spanish Consulate in Chicago. He needed paperwork such as his formal acceptance letter to the university, passport, proof of health insurance, and extra passport pictures. He also needed a few additional things. “I had to do a background check and have a doctor’s appointment to check for infectious diseases because I’m going to be in Madrid for the whole school year,” he said.


He will be taking four classes this semester--Media Theory, International Economics, Comparative Politics and Introduction to Patrimonial Law.


While attending school, Kade will be staying with a host family. The family lives in downtown Madrid and has a mother, father, daughter and two sons. One son lives in the house, and there is another exchange student staying there as well. Kade said the family is very nice and that they are good cooks. “My one grievance is that the son living here bought a bird like three days after I got here, and it’s super annoying,” said Kade. He also says the family isn’t very involved with what he’s doing, but the dad is very helpful and informative.


While Kade is in Spain, he plans to travel and experience the Spanish culture. “I’m definitely going to a soccer match,” said Kade. He would like to travel to Toledo, Segovia and Avila and also to the southern parts of Spain.


“I would consider observing the running of the bulls. Carefully, like from a balcony or something,” said Kade. He would also like to go to a bullfight because they might not be around for much longer.


“I’m enjoying my time here. I’m having fun and like meeting people from all over the world,” said Kade.



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